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Elements of a writers website (handout)

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  • 1. KEY ELEMENTS OF A WRITER’S WEBSITE Your Digital Business CardWebsite: A website informs, it is a marketing toolA compilation of all your services, books, articles, speaking, events, blog, products,testimonials, email captureBlog: A blog engagesPosts about your book, subject matter/niche where you have an opportunity to engage youraudience by asking for comments.Both offer you opportunity to be found online with correct Search Engine Optimization techniquesTips for a successful website:Know your targeted audience before you write your website or blog.Know the purpose of your site before you spend time and moneyPut fresh content on your site frequently, you can generally accomplish this on your blog, butalso on your events pageKnow your keywords and be consistent in writing your content for the website and blog, thiswill make all the difference in your being found in a Google searchWhat seems obvious… • List all your published books with the links to buy those books and digital downloads on your home page • Use your site design to focus on the book you most currently want to promote, your home page is a great place to showcase your most current book • Readers love to meet authors, highlight your upcoming appearances • Make your about page personal & media friendly, include a high res photo that media can download, and bio info easy to replicate • What do you want visitors to your site to do? Make it obvious • Your website should reflect your personality, the design should be unique to you and your workJoAnne Funch | GIR – Marketing Consulting, Online Web Development, Social Media Management | www.girpromotions.com | 763.497.1779 | Email: joanne@girpromotions.com  Page 1  
  • 2. KEY ELEMENTS OF A WRITER’S WEBSITE Your Digital Business CardAn Identifying URL: When I say identifying it needs to represent you, preferably you will snag yourown name for a dot com. Your own name.com will probably be your first choice, but you may alsochoose the name of your book if this is your first and only book at this time.Identify the pages of your website: Create a clear map of content you will include on your website.To include your home page, about you page, book page, speaking page, services, events,testimonials and contact.Pictures: Let’s face it people like to identify with you. They desire to see your face, look at yoursmile, and connect with you, and then your book isn’t just a physical product but a story from a realperson that they have looked at even if it was only a face on the Internet. People are also more likelyto buy a book if they are able to see it, so be sure to put your book’s cover art on there as well. TIP:Use high-resolution author photos and book cover images.Video: Add video of yourself being interviewed about your book, speaking – especially if you have aspeaking career or plan to speak about your book. Video makes you real, shows potential customersor people who may want to hire you who you are. Video is also great for search engine optimization(SEO).A blog: A blog is a perfect way to continue to share your knowledge with your readers as well as tocreate credibility and a connection with those coming to your site or hearing about you for the firsttime. This will also allow you to connect with your readers by encouraging them to comment and theninteracting with them via the blog.Testimonials and reviews. The cold hard fact is that people want to see that your book was useful toand well-liked by others. So, posting testimonials and reviews of your book is a must. People buymost often based on someone else’s recommendation, so use that to your advantage filling your sitewith positive reviews and testimonials.Contact information: People want to know they can contact you. Even if you can’t respond to theinquiries personally you will gain credibility by being accessible to your readers. Be sure to include atleast an email address. You may or may not choose to include your personal phone number andinclude your agent/publicist contact info.TIP: Do not overcrowd your pages with too much text, have lots of white space is best. Bullet point anything where possible because people tend to scanCalls To Action: Every website should include – what do you want people to do when they come toyour website?Email Subscription: In exchange for the visitors email, give them something of value such as achapter to your book, maybe something fun really fun. If you have a page selling your book or other products be sure buy buttons are clearly marked On the bottom of a blog post, tell your reader what you want them to do nextJoAnne Funch | GIR – Marketing Consulting, Online Web Development, Social Media Management | www.girpromotions.com | 763.497.1779 | Email: joanne@girpromotions.com  Page 2  
  • 3. KEY ELEMENTS OF A WRITER’S WEBSITE Your Digital Business CardContent is always king: Yours must always include compelling and current informationWho are you? What makes you interesting? Why will people want to read your books?Why did you write the book?If you write fiction, can you expand on how you developed your characters? What would the readerfind fun or interesting about that? Can you talk about how the character came to be?If you write non-fiction there usually is not a problem creating content to substantiate why your wroteyour book, update with facts about your market, additional topics relevant to your topicBoth for fiction and non-fiction you could include stories about your researching your book, who youinterviewed and even include a video interviewSearch Engine Optimization TipsSearch engine optimization (SEO) and analytics can ensure your website has what it needs to get tothe next level, and pull in the visitors you want: readers, editors, publishers and agents.Know your key words! What makes for relevant keywords for writers? Depends on what you do. Forfiction, relevant keywords could be your name, book titles, even character names. For non-fiction,subjects you’ve written about or your market niche will most likely be the terms a person surfing theWeb will use.If you don’t want to learn SEO, best to hire it out.If you have a Word Press site, add this plugin:Heres the authorsure plugin info to authenticate with Google in Wordpresshttp://www.authorsure.com/7 Step Checklist 1. Get your Gravatar (your professional image photo that follows you to all sites on the internet) if you don’t already have one go to: www.gravatar.com complete the profile information completely 2. Get an account at Google (Gmail) 3. Set up a Google+ Profile with your name and photo, complete every field including all your website urls and email addresses especially if you have multiple sites. 4. Install and configure AuthorSure plugin 5. On your WordPress site go to "Your Profile" page (upper right corner of your site under your photo) and enter the URL of your Google+ Profile in the box next to the Google+ icon 6. On Google+ click on your Profile icon then click the Edit Profile button then click in the "Contributor To" section and add a link to your Author page on your WordPress site - your author page URL will be something like http://www.site.com/author/user (get this link on the AuthorSure instructions page in your blog plugin pageJoAnne Funch | GIR – Marketing Consulting, Online Web Development, Social Media Management | www.girpromotions.com | 763.497.1779 | Email: joanne@girpromotions.com  Page 3  
  • 4. KEY ELEMENTS OF A WRITER’S WEBSITE Your Digital Business CardEmail marketing platforms that can be integrated into your websiteMail Chimp AweberConstant Contact IcontactThey vary according to: Price, Deliverability, Layout Options, Metrics SAMPLE EMAIL SUBSCRIBER FORM - DETAILS TO INCLUDESubscribe to our mailing list* indicates requiredEmail Address *name____________________________What is your primary reading language?(Optional drop down menu with major language choices)Do you only read real books vs digital books?YesNoWhich device are you reading on? • Kindle • Nook • Kobo Reader • iPad • Sony Reader • OtherEmail Format • html • text • mobile JoAnne Funch | GIR – Marketing Consulting, Online Web Development, Social Media Management | www.girpromotions.com | 763.497.1779 | Email: joanne@girpromotions.com  Page 4  
  • 5. KEY ELEMENTS OF A WRITER’S WEBSITE Your Digital Business Card WEBSITE CHECKLIST: Create an identifying URL Register your URL & host it with a hosting service ( ie: Host Gator, Blue Host) Identify the pages of your website A home page with a welcome message An about page with short and long bios & professional picture A books page presenting published fiction/nonfiction (or links to it) An events page or calendar A Speaking page if you are promoting speaking, be sure it has video’s of speaking A services page informing visitors about what you do—copywriting, editing, etc. A reviews or testimonials page A contact page with your info or agent/publicist info A Blog if you plan to write articles about your market/niche A press page or FAQ page, if necessary Pictures & videos Add a blog platform such as Wordpress.org Obtain written testimonials of your work & reviews of your book Create a complete contact page Learn or hire out search engine optimization for the entire website Integrate your social media sites – best location is top right Integrate an email capture form, top right is best (never below the fold of the page) Add Google analytics to your website – monitor the results consistentlyTIPS:Keep drop-down menus simpleCheck that active links connect to the appropriate pages within your site.Avoid Flash and music intros that slow down page-load time.Make sure your site loads properly on all popular Internet browsers (Firefox, InternetExplorer, Chrome).Hire a professional web developer for best results; ask if they also perform SEOConsider utilizing the services of a copy writer to create key word rich content on your siteRemember your website requires updates, who will do this? You? Your web developer?Be sure that you have a plan for maintenance. (If you are using Wordpress there are updatesall the time)JoAnne Funch | GIR – Marketing Consulting, Online Web Development, Social Media Management | www.girpromotions.com | 763.497.1779 | Email: joanne@girpromotions.com  Page 5  

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